Improving your health and the environment
Whether you’re an avid biker or you’ve simply been prepping for National Bike to Work Day, you should know that biking has a plethora of mental and physical health benefits. Not to mention, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save gas money. Here’s some reasons to get back into cycling, whether you want to go long distance or simply bike to the beach:
1. You’ll look younger
Stanford University scientists find that regular cycling can reduce the signs of aging by protecting your skin against harmful UV radiation. Doesn’t this seem contradictory, though, if you’re outside in the sun riding?
Dr Christopher Rowland Payne, a dermatologist, says, “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while flushing harmful toxins out.” Exercise also optimizes collagen production to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and increase the skin’s own healing process. Just make sure to wear your SPF 30.
2. You’ll recover from injury faster
Data shows that cycling can help improve knee pain and osteoarthritis in elderly patients.
3. You’ll live longer
One study indicates that prior Tour de France riders lived longer than the general population because of their cycling habits. The life expectancy of former pros is 81.5 years, while the general population lives 73.5 years. Bike commuters also benefit from an extra three to 14 months of life.
4. You’ll feel sexier
Aside from the toned body you’re sure to have, being a biker is seen as an attractive commodity. The British Heart Foundation’s survey shows that cyclists are viewed as 13 percent more intelligent and cooler than the average person. And 13 percent of those surveyed indicated they would prefer a cyclist if their blind date were an athlete.
5. You’ll help the planet
Unlike cars – even hybrids – there are zero pollutants coming from bikes. The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center indicates that transportation discharges large quantities of pollutants. Their data shows 80 percent of the atmostphere’s carbon monoxide can be traced to motorized vehicles powered by gas or diesel. These modes of transportation are also responsible for 55 percent of the air’s nitrogen oxide pollution.
6. You’ll save money
In addition to emitting zero pollutants, riding a bike also costs close to $0 per day. On average, an American spends $2,600 per year on gas for their work commute by car; that doesn’t include maintenance and repairs, parking, insurance, tolls, tire replacement, license and registration, and more! United States families spend 29 percent of their earnings on transportation. By biking, you spend only the initial cost of the bike and helmet, repairs and any tune-ups.
Plus, you’re saving the environment and getting a workout on your way to and from work, making for a healthier, happier you. What’s more, if you ride your bike enough, you can cancel your gym membership to save even more money.